Tips for a Terrific Tuscan Wedding
Listen, I get it. You got married years ago. You’re reading this article because Tuscany is romantic, and weddings are romantic, and you want a little of that romance back.
Or because your daughter has announced plans for an international elopement, and you’re scrambling to be involved.
Or you, the bride, were just planning a “small thing” with a “few people,” but you’re dreaming. Unless…
Unless a terrific Tuscan wedding might, in fact, be possible!
I can’t take credit for knowing that it’s possible or about terrific Tuscan weddings in general, but my dearest pseudo-daughter/former nanny Courtney sure does. I’m borrowing her top-level expertise so we might live vicariously through Courtney and her darling fiancée, Taylor, as they plan their October wedding.
Join me on a brief flight of fancy to the rolling vineyards, blue skies, and persistent pasta comas of northern Italy while I talk tips.
Hire an Italian wedding planner.
When there is a language barrier, you need a native speaker. Period. Courtney tried contacting venues herself, but she quickly discovered when the word “wedding” came tumbling from her all-American lips, the prices skyrocketed.
After interviewing ten, count ‘em, TEN, wedding planners, Courtney and Taylor decided on Danila from DAMA Wedding. The key to finding Danila and the other good candidates were the Facebook groups Courtney joined. People are more than happy to give advice on social media, and it shouldn’t take long to connect with fellow romantics in the Meta-verse.
Communicate with your guests EARLY.
Brace yourself: there will be a lot of “nos.” Asking people to fly to Italy for a wedding is a BIG ask, but those who really care will find a way to make it happen – if you catch them early enough. For an October 2023 wedding, Courtney and Taylor started sharing their grand plan with friends and family in July of 2022.
How you frame a destination wedding is important. Try suggesting that the wedding can be part of that European trip they’ve been planning since before the pandemic. If guests feel free to “choose their own adventure,” you’ll get more “yeses.”
Familiarize yourself with travel credit cards and correct documentation.
If you’ve never traveled internationally, get an airline credit card with a large international presence (American, Delta, or United), and a secondary card that gives you other perks. The cards should be widely accepted in Europe but shouldn’t have foreign transaction fees. Also, research the travel documentation required for the countries you’re visiting. You don’t want to show up at a foreign airport only to be told that because your passport expires in 3 months, you cannot fly home.
Julie’s Tip Within a Tip: If there is a language difference, free apps like Duolingo are a great tool to help familiarize yourself with the language of your destination before you go.
Go see your options. In person.
I know. You’re already paying a lot of money for your terrific Tuscan wedding, and now I’m asking you to go twice? Yes. Yes, I am.
Courtney and Taylor visited Italy in late September of 2022 (about a year out from their target wedding date) to tour venues. They claim it was by far one of the best things they did. The scouting trip forced them to think about things like the availability of air conditioning and an on-site restaurant. They were able to decide if they wanted to request that everyone stay at the resort.
There’s a lot to think about, but once you’re feeling the storied Tuscan sun on your face, you’ll be in a much better position to make informed decisions that will impact your loved ones who are paying a lot to come to your wedding.
Create a wedding email account.
The first thing Courtney did when they got engaged was to create a free Gmail account for the wedding correspondence, and she claims it’s a lifesaver. Both she and Taylor can access it, and they are able to store vendor contracts on the Google Drive attached to the email.
Get married BEFORE you leave.
Yes. You read that right. Getting legally married outside of the US is quite an ordeal and far more expensive than you think. Save yourself the stress and pay a visit to the courthouse the week before you leave so you can enjoy your truly magical Italian wedding without added hassle and cost. (It’ll be an excuse for two anniversary gifts in years to come!)